Sunday, 7 June 2015

Hoary and Common Rockrose, Prestatyn

Prestatyn is far more than amusement arcades, candy floss and Pontins. There is a really fine selection of beautiful countryside, from beach to sand dunes to limestone hills. Today we walked from Prestatyn to Graig Fawr via Prestatyn Hillside. This is the eastern most extent of the coastal carboniferous limestone grassland in North Wales and it has many plants familiar to anybody who has visited the Great Orme, for example. In particular I was interested in seeing common rockrose Helianthemum nummularium and hoary rockrose H. canum. The latter is a very rare plant in the UK, and occurs mainly in North Wales. It's smaller than common rockrose with bent styles and narrower leaves without stipules.

Also today we had a cracking view of two peregrines which flew off the cliffs, as well as three new butterflies for me in 2015, common blue, holly blue and small heath. 

Hoary rockrose.

Hoary rockrose.

Common rockrose.

Common rockrose.

Common twayblade Listera ovata.

The grass wood mellick Mellica uniflora. Very difficult to photograph, a tall grass growing in the shade, with very loose panicles of spiklets, waving around even in the slightest breath of air as your other half disappears up the track and away into the distance!

Two peregrines. They appeared out of the blue and gave me about half a second to fire off this photo, so I was pleased to see the result. This for me is the advantage of a bridge camera over a digital SLR, I was on my knees photographing rockroses at the time using the macro setting, but was able to respond instantly and get this on 24x zoom. Plus the fact it doesn't weigh much more than my mobile phone!

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